Strathaven care centre residents get a kick from tae kwon-do
Residents at a Strathaven care centre in South Lanarkshire were treated to a tae kwon-do session.
Rosie Brennan, activities coordinator at Collisdene Care Centre, had a vision to bring tae kwon-do into the facility that provides 24-hour individualised nursing care for people with learning disabilities, including physical and sensory impairment.
Ms Brennan saw tae kwon-do as a new and exciting activity that would bring a variety of benefits to enhance the residents’ lives both physically and mentally by promoting confidence, self-control and team-working, and invited top tae kwon-do coach Stephanie Mackenzie into Collisdene from January this year.
Ms Mackenzie has over 20 years’ experience in tae kwon-do, having trained and competed at the highest level. She spent 12 years representing Scotland’s national team and won multiple World and European Championship Medals as well as being recognised locally as South Lanarkshire Sports Personality of the Year.
She is a 4th Degree International Instructor and runs Odyssey Martial Arts, in Strathaven and, as a national coach, she will be jetting off to the World Championships in Finland, where two of her black belts, Abigail and Reece Stirling, will be competing.
All the hard work from everyone at Collisdene was rewarded when 10 residents and one staff member passed their grading and were presented with their yellow band belts by Stephanie, Abigail and Reece, along with special guests including South Lanarkshire Provost Margaret Cooper.
Rosie Brennan said: “We offer our residents a wide range of activities to suit all tastes and abilities and to help them develop themselves, such as the SQA level 2 in Modern Languages - French, which six of our residents achieved in August with the help from Lingo Flamingo.
“We can’t thank Stephanie, Abigail and Reece enough for the time they put in and the success they had in bringing the benefits of tae kwon-do to our residents and staff who had maybe never considered taking up a martial art or realised what it could add to their life.”
Stephanie Mackenzie added: “Tae kwon-do is for everyone, because it teaches us to use what we have got within us, and so it was a pleasure to introduce it to everyone we met at Collisdene.
“They were all so eager to learn and put in tremendous effort – achieving the yellow band belt is no mean feat and they all totally deserve to wear it with pride. I hope this now spurs them on to keep going and progress in tae kwon-do to their full potential.”
The two special guests were delighted with all they saw at the presentation and even took part themselves in the traditional breaking of the wood.
Provost Cooper commented: “It was a smashing occasion – literally, in this case! – but what was even more fantastic was the achievement of everyone who achieved their yellow belt.
“In doing so, they hadn’t just had to take part, but had needed to put in hours of dedication and commitment to achieve an impressive level of expertise and knowledge. I can’t congratulate everyone involved enough.”